Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring, known for its vibrant colors and striking beauty, is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Nestled in the heart of Yellowstone National Park, this natural wonder offers breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience to all who visit.


The Grand Prismatic Spring was discovered in the early 19th century during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1871. The spring is named for its striking coloration, which resembles a rainbow prism. The vivid colors are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats around the spring.

How to get there

Grand Prismatic Spring is located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The closest commercial airports are in Jackson Hole and Cody. From there, visitors can rent a car and drive to the park. The spring is accessible via the boardwalk trail from the Fairy Falls trailhead.


  • Close-up view of the Grand Prismatic Spring
  • The Fairy Falls trailhead
  • The Grand Prismatic Spring overlook
  • Excelsior Geyser Crater
  • Midway Geyser Basin

Ticket Information

Entrance to Yellowstone National Park requires a fee. As of 2022, a 7-day pass for a private, non-commercial vehicle costs $35. If you plan to visit multiple federal recreation sites, you might consider the $80 annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

Tips for visiting

  • For optimal viewing of the Grand Prismatic Spring, visit in the afternoon when the sun is higher.
  • Take the trail to the overlook for a bird’s-eye view of the spring.
  • Be prepared for crowds during the peak summer season.
  • Stay on the boardwalk to protect both yourself and the thermal features.
  • Don’t forget your camera!

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